Tring Tring…

I’m trying to brainstorm this particular concept of using cell phones in public places. This incident of course is about our very own Satyam Theater. The reason why i picked this place is mentioned below. Read on and pour your thoughts in. Because after thinking much i don’t have much answers that make any sense. Its not like its happening anywhere else in India, it is but since we are here in chennai to reduce the complexity of the situation and the argument we shall drill down to Satyam theater chennai.

After a long week at work i hit the “6 degrees” theater tonight at the Satyam Cineplex to catch up with the movie “Resident Evil 3”. The movie was fun, nice time pass however there was one disturbing phenomenon that hit my eyes and ears everywhere i turned around. Its happened before and it happened now. Yes you know what im talking about….


They came in all shapes and sizes. From monotonic ring tones to polyphonic and true tone/mp3 tones you name it that can be as loud as they can get. The first thing me and my cousin did when we went into the theater was put our phones to the vibrator mode, which is what any normal person is expected to do. Looks like we don’t have much normalcy here because i heard all the songs in the Sivaji Movie blare with ring tones, blaring even louder than the gory scenes on DTS on screen.

I’m trying to figure out why this happens and i try and reason why people don’t turn off their cell phones in cinema theaters and let it gloriously disturb every other person around.

Argument #1: The quality of movies has gone to the dogs people think their cell phones are better to look at.
Counter Argument: This happened even in Sivaji Movie and Vettayadu Vilayadu! Am i to believe that thalivar fans think the movie is crap or Kamal’s latest successful flick was a bore? So i guess that nullifies this argument.

Argument#2: People are irresponsible and uncivilized
Counter Argument: Thats rubbish, the average Satyam goer is certainly above the income level of an average chennai dweller. He is well educated and well payed enough to afford Rs.120 as a ticket and another 50 rupees for soda and snacks inside the theater. So i guess this nullifies the argument as such about it being people’s fault.

Argument#3: Satyam does not communicate properly.
Counter Argument: Slides are displayed before, during the interval of movies to switch off the cell phones. So i guess this argument is nullified too.

Argument#4: People are absent minded.
Counter Argument: Well this is indeed a good probability. However am i led to believe that close to 30 to 40 people in a cinema theater of 150 are absent minded? I don’t really think so. If thats true then we have a medical situation here. Probably this counter argument is the only one that holds water.

I seriously dont understand. Who could they call and message after 10.15 PM in the night? Its not even day! Adding to this most of them either had wives or girl friends with them, who else would you want to message apart from these people at 10.15 PM. You really cannot message someone for a job interview, or can you?

I mean its none of my business to worry who they message or call or recieve calls from but it sure is my problem and every persons problem when its in the middle of a movie and you phone rings loud like an ambulance with the latest tamil movie number and you pick up the phone and scream at the top of your voice that “naan padaththula irukken! sollu enna matter….” kind of conversations.

Most people do not pay that Rs. 120 to hear this conversation that is forced into them amidst a good movie.

So, i put the ball in your court my dear chennai vasi’s. I’m lost for ideas, words and wisdom. I have no clue why people do this apart from the bliind justification that people are absent minded. But hey even if you are absent minded you could always hang up on a call and msg the person that you are in a theater right? Why dont people do that?

I need answers because im totally stupified today trying to brainstorm this topic and it looks like im going nowhere. So i think its best i ask no one else who can provide their expert opinion and reason other than my chennai vasis. Are we ready?

Okay, the comment section is all yours to type away. Now keep in mind. Lets keep this tied down to Satyam theater or say Cinema theater only. The smaller the topic the easier it is for us to confine things to time and space.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, ideas that may come. Much appreciated.

16 Comments so far

  1. Knigted (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 7:31 am

    Might be guyz getting call at odd times work for BPO i guess. Poor guyz work on weird shift timings and erratic weekly offs. Souls who work for a diff process in the same floor or even in the next bay are not aware of his friends roster. Mistakenly he would have tried to reach his friend for a smoke/break who for the same BPO as well.

  2. Ram (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 7:33 am

    The logic and good commonsense of keeping all cell phones switched off, when one attends a Theatre, Music performance, or for that matter any public place to hear a lecture etc. should dawn on the ownervoluntarily – you cannot compel them.. the Race Club has forced this, though for a different reason, and if one takes a cell phone inside the Race Course they could face a fine of 5000 easily.

    The Cinema Houses could try a fine and see how it works.

  3. tamizhan (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:00 am

    It is quite annoying, you are right. Perhaps, it wont annoy us as much, if we can tone down our instant hatred of such people.

  4. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:51 am

    It is sheer irresponsibility, callousness and utter disregard for the others. Nothing else. If the cellphone is used for any real and genuine cause or urgency, one can understand.

    On many occasions, the chat goes something like `How are you sweetie?’ How do you do? How was your recent Kodai trip? When did you get back? How is that dude, I mean your boss, that old hag? Call you back as I have some other call.See you. By the way how is your new Feista? Bye. A big yawn follows and the chat resumes again much to the individual and collective headache of others in theatres and concert halls. Some people lack vocal or voice culture and speak in such volume, their discussion could be heard even outside the halls.

    Umpteen times I have seen people talking endlessly over cellphones at offices, banks during working hours, concert venues, cine theatres, hospitals, even while driving vehicles. The last-mentioned, in spite of even strict rules by traffic depts. People by and large have this bad and nasty habit of talking over the phones endlessly – necessary, urgent or otherwise. I have seen many employees in offices using office landlines for personal use as soon as they step in and till they leave office after duty hours, even though they have personal cellphones. Misusing a facility seems inherent among many people.

    Cellphone is a very precious communication gadget, meant only for urgent and essential communication needs. With so many new features being incorporated, it is now being used for time pass, attention diversion, music, songs and what not by many people. It does cost a lot towards bills for cellowners but then the activity should not cause inconvenience to the others. Education has nothing to do with it as it is basic courtesy.

    One can use a facility, but not misue and cause nuisance to the others.

  5. little Ram (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:59 am

    After much observation of this phenomenon in public spaces, looking at the kind of people who do this and the manner of their response, I would put it down to a certain degree of insensitivity. I notice that some people apart from keeping their phones on, allow them to ring at length before answering, prolonging the disturbance to all others around. Some refuse to switch to silent even after one instance of it ringing. To me, this is annoying (I can assure you Tamizhan, this does not make me hate anyone!) I would say that since mere repetition of instructions do not work and imposing fines is difficult and disruptive in a theatre, we need a well-designed communication campaign.

    I would advocate a campaign using posters and slides at Satyam that project the cellphone offender as being an irresponsible citizen. Also a set of instructions as to what you can do to avoid disturbing others- switch to the silent mode; if you must respond, text the caller silently with a templated response, etc. I would probably ask the Madras Advertising Assn. to work a contest to come up with a public campaign that works best on this that could be sponsored by Satyam, MMA and organizations of this nature.

  6. Giridhar (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 11:08 am poi complain pananum…
    otherwise cell phoners would not listen…haha…

    on the serious front..
    ppl think its still flashy to show off their mobiles or to show off that they are busy even at late hours..
    they dont tend to stick to decency and be considerate about others..

    cell phone jammers could be one solution…but that could bar usage even if there is some urgent situation…

    these kind of decency cannot to be brought into our generation anymore..

    education about road traffic, road fury, cell phone usage must be brought at school levels so atleast the next generation is clean free and happy of all the hassles…

  7. Dhans (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 11:34 am

    may be for publicity…

    they can always avoid that calls or put the mobile in vibrator. I think some of them i have found do this just for making people turn-up and see them, even thou they are irritated :)

  8. Ravi (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

    If there is no network in the theatre premises … he he he … solves the problem ..

  9. Pavithran (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

    Watch DVDs.

  10. Dilip Muralidaran (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

    Pavithran: Excluding the 30 rupees thiruttu DVD from Burma Bazaar. DVD’s are expensive man, how do you expect people to spend 799 on a DVD set. 120 is way better off than 799!

  11. rajan (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

    I do agree with Dilip’s experience.People those who are entering into the Cinema theatre should either turn into vibration mode or turnoff the cellphone itself.See every public places has its own distinguishable nature.People starting jogging in the morning around the calm park, even there also we are seeing this kind of nuisance.Though big boards are put around the hospital still people are using cellphone that too in a louder voice.This is the issue seriously we have to lookinto to get a possible solution.Lets this thread go around the globe to find suitable solution. Congrats dilip to bring out our thoughts through your blog.Cheers!

  12. vivek (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

    This is typical desi attitude.
    “Otha na enna venumnalum seiven da… yavan da kelvi ketpa?”.
    That is why fcuking politicians are also taking as for granted…Indians talk a lot.. but does nothing…

  13. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

    It wasn’t just the movie that was a resident evil, was it? ;-)

    Anyway, your counter to argument #2 is hardly one. How much you get paid, and what sort of “education” someone has got printed on their CV barely reflects their ‘responsibility-level’. Simply put, they are idiots.

  14. Vivek (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

    I agree with Navneeth. There are so many filthy rich people who have never steped into a school and whose lifestyle is also filty. Look all these MP, MLA and ministers… Yuck.. I feel like puking on their face…

  15. Kokki_Jacobus (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 6:57 am

    Well, I can see Navneeth and Vivek have taken on Argument #2 before me :) In fact, I would place the blame sorely on the art of the patrons -irresponsible with no regard for others. What is required is a change in the mindset of the people – educating them is not sufficient, civilizing them is what is needed. The use of cell phones, spitting/ urinating in public spaces, blatant disregard for traffic rules and lanes… ‘education’ and income have done little to reduce these problems.

  16. Govar (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

    I couldn’t wait to disagree with Argument#2.

    People who can pay 120 for a ticket and 50 for a soda automatically are responsible and civilized? Wow, nice try.

    There might be a positive correlation between affluence and civilized behavior, but the correlation is still not all that strong. Have you ever see rich kids in their vehicles with blaring music throwing trash all over favorite tourist destinations? Have you seen ‘rich’ drunkards? Let’s face it. There are a lot of uncivilized people around, and theaters have to start evicting them.

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